Clinical Psychology and Spirituality

G. Gragnano, C. M. Bosma, Francesco Pagnini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


Spirituality can be defined as the search for the sacred or divine through any life experience. Not to be confused with “religiousness”, which implies a multifaceted concept including ethical and moral rules. Nevertheless, these two are not mutually exclusive concepts. People who report to have spiritual and religious experiences during their lives are increasing, leading to a scene where spiritual and physical health are becoming almost equally important in defining the self (Mueller et al., 2001). Hence, spiritual needs during illness should not be underestimated when evaluating patients’ quality of life: it has been demonstrated how religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes (e.g., greater longevity, coping skills, together with less anxiety, depression, and suicide). These resources showed to have a crucial role among some disease-specific populations. For example, spiritual well-being was found to be related to the ability of enjoying life in oncology patients and HIV-positive patients. Furthermore, spirituality may influence health-related quality of life and subjective well-being, even during terminal and incurable diseases. Nowadays, the well-known medical model -which focuses its aim on medicine, giving less importance to personal beliefs and faith- is viewed as too reductionist and mechanistic. Many scholars consider the medical model to not be comprehensive enough, as it generally does not address psychological well-being, such as spirituality, especially in terminal and incurable diseases. Among those patients, spiritual suffering is frequently ignored or dismissed, because of the difficulties in recognizing it (e.g., hopelessness and sense of meaninglessness might lead to a diagnosis of depression). Even in end-of-life situations, every patient often desires to give his life a meaning, making it possible to afford a peaceful death. Therefore, it is important to give more consideration to spiritual well-being in clinical interventions and palliative care.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteNew Developments in Clinical Psychology Research
EditorDrozdstoj Stoyanov, Rolf Dieter Stieglitz
Numero di pagine15
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2015


  • Spirituality


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